Christmas cactus ?s

Suzy11February 10, 2014

Hi again! When I transplant my cactus what kind of soil should I use? I read that they love to be pot bound. I don't think that mine is but you can see the root ball. Is there a best time to transplant? I have been fertilizing every other week since November. Because my cactus has had pink buds on the ends of the leaves, it never had a flower. It is still getting buds when should I stop fertilizing? When do you think that I might get a flower?

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stevoevera

What a coincidence I am looking into repotting my christmas cactus as well! I bought mine in early december and there were nice big flowers that hadn't opened. Now it's February and the flowers are all still closed and the leaves are drooping. At this point I am thinking about cutting all of the flowers off and then transplanting it. What do you guys think?
Suzy I recommend that you stop fertilizing. I found this online:
Add fertilizer to assist plant growth. Plants that are actively growing should be given a blooming houseplant-type fertilizer. Follow the label directions for how much and how often to feed. Fertilizing is important to keep the plant in good condition; the joints are fragile and can break apart if the plant descends into poor health. Generally, it should be fertilized 2-4 times a year with a 20-20-20 feed, but stop feeding about a month before the buds appear (this usually means stopping by the end of October)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 4:08PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hi, Suzy!
Re-pot using the type of soil that you use for your Citrus. These are jungle cacti and they thrive in a bark-based mix. Wait to re-pot until late Spring/early Summer. Foliage Pro is an excellent fertilizer for these plants.

Steve, there is something seriously wrong with your Thanksgiving Cactus. What is happening with the roots?

Josh

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:33PM
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stevoevera

Here is what my christmas cactus looks like from the top. It looks like it started from 4 different cuttings. The leaves have grown a lot and they all lean the same way, so that the other side of the pot (not depicted in the picture above) is pretty bare looking. I thought the roots were healthy but I think it was too close to the window all of this time and was receiving too much light. So I've moved it away from the window and it's still not flowering. Do you think I should cut them off? The leaves are looking more fragile.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:55PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

It's a Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) :-)
Secondly, too much sun won't cause that look to your plant. It seems that the plant isn't able to take up moisture, and I'm guessing it is due to impaired root function. I can't say exactly what is causing the roots not to function properly. Most commonly, the cause is a saturated potting mix that holds moisture too long.

I do not think you should do any pruning.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:15PM
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stevoevera

Oh wow apparently it's not uncommon to label thanksgiving cacti as christmas cacti in Canada to increase sales :/ I am impressed you were able to make the distinction based on the pictures I've posted! Thanks for that!
Luckily my buddy has a true xmas cactus (or so he says) so we'll be exchanging cuttings eventually.
If draining is the problem, I will transplant it soon and put some rocks at the bottom for drainage.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:30AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey!
The points on the leaves are a dead giveaway ;-)
Try setting the container on some paper towels to draw moisture out through the drainholes. Rocks on the bottom of the pot won't help with drainage....better to use a barky mix that drains properly by itself.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:39AM
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Suzy11

Hi Josh! fancy meeting you here. Thank you for your great advice. I use jacks all purpose fertilizer. Is that good? I can change. Someone told me to fertilize when the plant is blooming and then stop, does that sound right? Do you think that it may bloom for Easter?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 3:02PM
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tommyr_gw

I use Orchid mix. Works GREAT!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Suzy11

Thanks

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Suzy11

Thanks tommy. I will look for both

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:51PM
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